Schrecker and Me at Brandeis

I spoke the other night at Brandeis University, as usual under the auspices of College Republicans and with no institutional or faculty sponsorship. As fate would have it, there were two other events with speakers that evening, one an anti-Israel activist named Hedy Epstein, who was sponsored by the Peace, Conflict Resolution and Co-existence Department, and the other a radical professor from Yeshiva University, named Ellen Schrecker. Schrecker, who in the past has gone out of her way to attack me for objecting to the injection of political agendas into academic classrooms, was speaking about her new book, The Lost Soul of Higher Education, which is a defense of indoctrination (the “lost soul” in the title refers to the alleged “corporatization” of the university and its interests). While my talk was a faculty orphan, Schrecker’s was sponsored by the following Brandeis departments: Education, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, Sociology, Anthropology, English, Legal Studies and Journalism.

This little disparity tells you all you really need to know about the intellectual orientation of academic faculties and their disrespect for conservative students. For the failure of any academic department at Brandeis to sponsor the talk of a well-known university critic who has written five books presenting a conservative view response to authors like Schrecker was not an oversight. My student hosts had approached these or similar departments and asked them to sponsor my talk and been rebuffed. Nor is this an unusual occurrence. I have spoken at roughly 400 universities in the last 20 years and at only two have I been invited by members of the faculty, and only one by a department. This is one – and only one — of the reasons it grieves me to see conservatives refer to their antagonists, whose deepest passions are censorious and totalitarian, as “liberals.”

As a matter of fact, I would have welcomed the opportunity to share a platform with Professor Schrecker, who despite her intolerant attitudes and collectivist prejudices sits on the academic freedom committee of the American Association of University Professors. This would have been a special pleasure because her new book confirms everything I have written or said about the contemporary university, although when I do, I am condemned by Shrecker and her colleagues as a liar who has made the up the facts and as a witch-hunter — “worse than McCarthy,” as a story by Schrecker described me on the cover of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

For nearly a decade it has been my claim, which I have documented in four books — The Professors, Indoctrination U., One Party Classroom and the recently published Reforming Our Universities — that entire academic fields, newly created in the post-1960s era, are not in fact academic but are political parties, now entrenched in our universities, whose mission is the indoctrination and recruitment of students to leftwing political agendas. I have identified these fields as Women’s Studies, African American Studies, Peace Studies, Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, and similar inter-disciplinary subjects, and have deplored how they have spread their malign influence into other academic areas including all the Brandeis departments that chose to sponsor Schrecker’s talk and withhold support from mine.

And here is how Ellen Schrecker in her book describes the creation of the two new academic fields that pioneered the debasement of the university curriculum: “What women’s studies did have in common with African American studies, however, was its connection to a major social movement. The field grew directly out of second-wave feminism; it was, one scholar noted, ‘the educational arm of the women’s liberation movement.’ As such, it had a strong political agenda, one that was readily embraced by its early practitioners, former New Left activists who viewed their teaching and research as part of the broader feminist struggle against the patriarchal oppression of women. ‘From the beginning,’ historian Marilyn Boxer explained, ‘the goal of women’s studies was not merely to study women’s position in the world but to change it.’ There was thus a ‘continuing commitment …. to advocacy – that is to political action….”

This, in a nutshell, is the Orwellian universe we now inhabit, where totalitarians and character assassins are referred to as “liberals” and where defenders of political indoctrination sit on academic freedom committees and call their critics “McCarthyites.”

  • Chezwick_Mac

    As one who bought and read 'The Professors' and 'Indoctrination U' when they were first published, what David writes here is certainly not new to me. And yet, reading it now, I'm reminded with fresh poignancy just how bad things have gotten.

    I mourn for our children…and for our country.

  • mario

    Well stated David. America owes you a huge debt of gratitude for all you do to expose the lunatics in charge of our colleges and universities.

  • yrd4soundingoff

    David, there are those of us who are carefully following your struggle with the indoctrinization of the universities because we have children who will be in those universities in few years and we want to help you stem this tide. When my two daughters enter university in a few years, they will be armed with the knowledge that you have presented me all these years with your books and posts on this site. They will take up the struggle of pushing back. Thank you for all you do and there are so many of us out here who are listening.

  • Barry from Victoria

    The phrase 'second wave of feminism' is an interesting one, especially considering how much the second wave hates Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell who most assuredly are the third wave. Women of the second wave like Ellen Schrecker clearly demonstrate that hatred, not liberation was their primary motivation. In this way it strongly resembles the Black Liberation movements following the civil rights struggles of the '60's which were also more about hate than liberation. Now a new generation of self- confident and successful women and black Americans have come along and challenged the hegemony of the rule of Jesse Jackson and Ellen Schrecker over the public debate. The shrillness of their wails of incomprehension is pleasing to my ears.

    • ajnn

      This is not a new phenomenon. Look at how Phyllis Schlafly was treated in the 1970's.

  • Demetrius M

    Oh the Liberals cherish free speech and thought. It just has to be in line with their agenda…

  • Raymond in DC

    Yeshiva University, an Orthodox Jewish institution, is about the last place one should expect to find a radical professor like Schrecker. Then again, Israel's Bar Ilan University, in the aftermath of the assassination of Rabin, opened their doors to more leftist voices, even creating a department of Gender Studies. The inevitable, of course, happened. GS is now the focal point for the radical, anti-Zionist perspective in an otherwise Zionist institution.

  • stephencuz

    The sad fact is when you meet someone you've known since they were born and they return from a university education and tout the same limp accusations of conservatives you say to yourself, oh no, they got another one. It almost seems like we feed the young to this machine that turns them out in their image. Yet, they can't go through life without an education. How do we guard against this travesty?

    • Spider

      First off let;s get to work getting these so called schools de-funded for practicing ideological and race discrimination with their racist "studies" programs. This is being looked at by some states now. Our schools have become nothing but leftist "Madrassas" that indoctrinate and recruit for every stripe of anti American cause imaginable. They seek to destroy our country as we know it. We must expose them and fight them with every ounce of our being. Nothing else will save this great republic so many now take for granted.

      • Guest

        "Defunding" can start with alumni refusing pleas for donations and saying why. Nothing else matters to them. The Left are agenda-driven, Postmodernist zealots devoid of ethics, reason or standards of fairness. Appeals to those qualities fall on deaf ears.

    • jimbo

      Dennis Prager states it best, if you are a recent graduate with a non-science degree, than it is very likely that you are dumber after your 4 years of college education.

      • trickyblain

        That explains it! Prager must have had 30 years of non-science college…

    • American thinker

      Once those kids enter the job market and get their paychecks with all those deductions, some wake up to the lies they have been fed.

      Communicate with all the kids in your life and tell them not to believe all they are required to learn.

  • USMCSniper

    The hypocrisy of the Left in such matters of free speech and “tolerance” is baffling to most non-Leftists until you read Herbert Marcuse, the father of campus radicalism. In his 1965 article “Repressive Tolerance” (dedicated to students at Brandeis University), Marcuse explains why the Left should suppress the freedoms of those on the Right. For Marcuse, the only way to “true tolerance” is by denying freedom to those on the Right (i.e., anyone who disagrees with Leftist ideology) and withdrawing their freedom of speech. As campuses have radicalized since the 1960s, Marcuse’s program of “repressive tolerance” has increasingly become the norm. It is the new Secular Scholasticism. More and more university faculties welcome the most radical groups and programs in the name of tolerance, while vilifying and opposing anything that might sound the slightest bit conservative or Christian. Some of the loudest advocates of “academic freedom” are the most vigorous opponents of freedom to those on their right. Thanks to Marcuse, many American campuses no longer welcome free and open debate on the burning issues of the day.

    • Liberty Clinger

      “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously (the lie and the truth), and accepting both of them (Insanity)… with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth… Those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is; in general the greater the understanding the greater the delusion; the more intelligent the less sane… When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science… If human equality is to be forever averted; if the "high," as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently; then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.” George Orwell – 1984

      Truth: Freedom means equal freedom for all – tolerance of equal rights – intolerance of unequal rights

      Lie: Freedom means freedom for some and not for others – intolerance of equal rights – tolerance of unequal rights

      Doublethink insanity is accepting both the truth and the lie simultaneously – with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

      The sanity of common sense is accepting only the truth – with the truth always one leap ahead of the lie.

  • Liberty Clinger

    DHL "This, in a nutshell, is the Orwellian universe we now inhabit, where totalitarians and character assassins are referred to as “liberals” and where defenders of political indoctrination sit on academic freedom committees and call their critics “McCarthyites.”"

    "The official ideology abounds with contradictions, even when there is no practical reason for them… Even the names of the four ministries by which we are governed exhibits a sort of impudence in their deliberate reversal of the facts; the ministry of peace concerns its self with war; the ministry of truth with lies; the ministry of love with torture: and the ministry of plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in doublethink; for it is only by reconciling contradictions that power can be retained indefinitely." George Orwell – 1984

  • Armando

    What's with these self-hating Jews! It's sickening!

  • crypticguise

    Excellent, Dr. Horowitz. Keep up the good work!

  • guest

    "This little disparity tells you all you really need to know about the intellectual orientation of academic faculties and their disrespect for conservative students."

    No David, it tells us the obvious, that despite your deep desire to be considered an intellectual you are not. You are an ideologue with an axe to grind. Undoubtedly that is true of some inside academia as well, but I've read some of your work on the university and it is not research. You don't like certain fields because they produce knowledge that goes against your ideology, so you attack it. That's politics, fine. You have every right to bring your little dog and pony show to the university, but you don't have a right to be respected as an academic or to be treated as one. And research is more than just going out collecting that data which fits your ideology and ignoring everything else. You accuse others of this but you could quite literally teach a class on it.

    • richard2010

      You are right, David is not an intellectual if the criteria is to be accepted by the University Departments that are staffed by Marxist/Progressives. By the way, tell me how Marxist/Progressive research will produce knowledge that is exact and not a Marxist political outcome? Certainly, Mao and Lennin, after causing the deaths of millions, produced intellectuals who research data ultimately proved them to be correct.

      By the way, David was considered an intellectual (by your terms) back in the 60s. I wonder what made him change?

    • Jimbo

      Guest = Idiot.

      Oh when Horowitz was the New Left he was brilliant, but as soon as he leaves the plantation, he suddenly was an "ideologue with an axe to grind".

      Face this simple and undeniable fact. The most repressive and un-free locations in the United States exist on college campuses with their PC speech codes and rules imposed by the most elite of the liberal intelligentsia. These enclaves of repression on American soil are the Leftists shining examples of how they would run the entire country if they had it all their way. Absolutely terrifying and disgusting.

      • guest

        I have no idea about Horowitz on the left, was before my time. But making unfounded claims is something you seem very familiar with. Speaking of which …

        Universities are repressive!? Really? And you morons get all twisted when we refer to enhanced interrogation as torture, but US universities are the most repressive and unfree locations in the country. Moreso than prisons, detentions centers, the US military, the average workplace of a corporation. Maybe if you had ever been to a university campus you would realize what a stupid thing you just said. But you live in your echo chamber and, I venture to guess, rarely leave.

        • bostonian

          Thank you guest. You are all that someone ned to know about university.

  • Fred Dawes

    Horowitz is right if we keep up PC The muslims/islam will eat us all alive. read and listen to savage nation. and check out america action

  • akbass

    Guest: "I have no idea about Horowitz on the left, was before my time." No idea? And you're preaching to us about how to do research? Perhaps you should reconsider posting comments on these sights, unless you have no problem with looking like a complete moron.

    • guest

      you're an idiot. I never made any claims about H on the left that would have required any research, my claim was about him today. Jimbo's comment implied I considered H's thinking back then intellectual but now don't. My point was I made no claims about H then, it was an ungrounded assumption by Jimbo. Therefore his comment was both false (as I didn't think H was an intellectual back then) and irrelevant. Get it? And it's "site" not "sight". Moron.

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